Overcoming the World

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“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”  I John 5:4-5

Do you remember the “old, evil triumvirate” from catechism class?   The devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh.  These are the enemies that wage war against our soul.  The devil seeks to tempt us away from Christ; the world tries to lure us into its values and purposes; our own sinful flesh tries to control us.  We need help!

And these are enemies that we can’t defeat on our own.  But the Good News is that we have the Valiant One who fights for us!  Jesus Himself tells us:

  • “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  (Luke 10:18)
  • “In this world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world!”  (John 16:33)
  • “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the          Spirit of God dwells in you”  (Romans 8:8-9a)  

In this Epistle, John reminds us especially of the second of those vicious enemies: the world.  Earlier he wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world….for all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions – is not from the Father but from the world.”  (I John 2:15-16)

But the good news is that we have overcome the world by faith in Jesus!  We see so much sin and sorrow, death and disease, pain and pride in our world every day.  But through faith, we’ve overcome the world which is passing away.

As we await Jesus’ return on the Last Day, we do all that we can to avoid the sinfulness of the world, even as we reach out with the love of Jesus to the people of the world.  God help us!

Gracious Heavenly Father, in Christ You have defeated all of our enemies.  Though we still live in a sinful and fallen world, we have overcome this world through faith in Your Son.  Help us to be free from the world’s sins even as we point others to the only hope:  Jesus.   In His name, Amen.  

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